Turkish Cypriot Leader Warns of Potential Escalation and Calls for Two-State Solution in Cyprus

229px Nicosia 01 2017 img17 View from Shacolas Tower

Turkish Cypriot leader Ersin Tatar warned on Friday that "one small mistake" could turn Cyprus into "a new Gaza." Tatar, who is not recognized as a head of state by the international community, also suggested that Azerbaijan, Bangladesh, and Pakistan may soon recognize the north.

Currently, Turkey is the only country that recognizes the so-called Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus.

In an interview with the British newspaper The Daily Telegraph, Tatar said, "A mistake or a misunderstanding, such as the shooting of a Turkish soldier on the Green Line, could lead to a confrontation between the two populations." He added, "If you shoot a Turkish soldier, you will have 10,000 soldiers on the ground."

Tatar emphasized the need for calm and reason, stating that Turkish Cypriots have the support of 85 million Turks who are just 40 miles away. He expressed concerns about a potential escalation, citing examples such as Gaza, Ukraine, and Bosnia.

When discussing potential solutions to the Cyprus problem, Tatar rejected efforts towards a federal solution as a "waste of time." He stated that the only way forward is a two-state solution and suggested that Azerbaijan, Bangladesh, and Pakistan might recognize the north in the future.

Following a meeting with UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres in New York, Tatar announced that on July 20, 2024, they will celebrate the anniversary of the "Turkish peacekeeping operation in Cyprus," referring to the Turkish invasion. He expressed hopes that the international community would recognize the reality of two peoples and two democratic states in Cyprus, emphasizing the need for cooperation between the existing states.

In response to Tatar's comments, the Cyprus government expressed its disagreement. The government spokesman, Konstantinos Letymbiotis, stated that Tatar's remarks do not contribute positively to the future of Cyprus and its inhabitants.

He emphasized that efforts should be made to resume negotiations and find a final solution to the Cyprus problem with the cooperation of the UN Secretary-General and his envoy. The government aims for a future Cyprus that is a modern, united European country, ensuring the well-being of all Cypriots.

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